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An Apocalypse of Ice Chapter 12 Part 2

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An Apocalypse of Ice Chapter 12 Part 2

  1. 1. Con$nued
from
Part
One…

  2. 2. Brandon
walked
out
to
the
graves
and
called
everyone.

He
thought
with
pride
that
he
might
be
croaking,
but
his
voice
could
s$ll
 carry.

  3. 3. “But
Uncle
Brandon—”

  4. 4. “It’s
nice
that
you’re
pretending
that
I’m
perfectly
healthy.

Really,
it
is.

But
I
have
to
talk
to
you
as
heir,
not
as
my
nephew.

My
 will
is
on
the
podium.

It’s
been
witnessed.

I’ve
done
what
I
can
so
that
Arthur
and
Sabriel
can’t
pick
up
where
I
leK
off.

But—”
 “What?”

  5. 5. Brandon
frowned.

“I
feel
like
I
haven’t
been
all
the
way
here
these
last
couple
days.

I
probably
should
have
been
on
my
 deathbed,
not
siOng
in
my
office—but
the
laws
even
apply
to
me,
and
then
Piper—”
 “Who’s
Piper?”
 “Didn’t
I
tell
you?”
 “No.”

  6. 6. “Well,
I
should
have.”

Brandon
looked
up
and
waved
his
hand
around.

“He’s
a
poli$cian.

He
keeps
asking
me
who
I’ve
picked.

I
 keep
throwing
him
out
of
my
office.

And
now
he
thinks
he’s
concerned
about
my
health.”



  7. 7. When
Brandon
didn’t
say
anything
else,
Will
said,
“What
do
you
want
me
to
do?”

  8. 8. “Go
to
my
office
now.

I
mean
it.

Here’s
the
key.

Don’t
you
dare
stand
around
and
cry
for
hours
on
end.

If
I’m
croaking,
there’s
no
 $me
to
lose.

You
understand?”

  9. 9. “I—”
Will
wanted
to
protest,
but
this
was
important.

“Yes.”

  10. 10. “Good.”
 The
snow
melted.

Brandon
stood
alone.

  11. 11. He
put
up
a
good
fight,
like
he
always
did.

  12. 12. But
in
the
end,
Brandon’s
fingers
closed
on
thin
air,
and
he
had
no
choice
but
to
go
where
Death
would
take
him.

  13. 13. Will
wiped
away
his
tears
as
his
uncle
faded
away.

  14. 14. But
he
knew
what
he
had
to
do,
even
if
he
didn’t
know
what
to
do
once
he
got
there.
 “Will—”
Julian
said.
 “You
heard
him,
didn’t
you?”

Will
said.

“No
speeches.

We
have
to
go.”

It
would
have
been
nice
to
give
some
kind
of
speech.

But
 Brandon
would
have
wanted
to
be
remembered
in
ac$ons,
not
words.

  15. 15. So
Will
kept
walking.

He
didn’t
know
what
to
do
once
he
got
to
Brandon’s
office
(well,
Arthur
and
Sabriel’s
now,
even
though
they
 weren’t
around
to
occupy
it),
but
he’d
figure
that
out
once
he
got
there.

  16. 16. The
phone
rang
when
Sabriel
was
wai$ng
for
Arthur
to
finish
lunch.

“Hello?”
 “Sabriel!”

Will
exhaled,
then
inhaled
again.

It
sounded
like
he
was
gasping
for
breath.

“You
have
to
get
here!

Now!”

  17. 17. “Now?

It
takes
the
taxi
a
while
to
get
here—”
 “I
mean
it!

There’s
not
$me
for
this!”

  18. 18. Will
knew
something
was
wrong.

It
wasn’t
just
the
feeling
of
his
uncle
having
died.

It
was
a
sinking
feeling
that
he
should
have
 go]en
here
sooner
instead
of
wai$ng
for
the
death
itself.

Brandon
had
been
to
work
today,
even
though
he
was
dying,
but
it
 would
have
been
so
clear
to
everyone
that
he
was
ill,
wouldn’t
it?

  19. 19. “Uncle
Brandon’s
dead?”

Sabriel
asked.

  20. 20. Arthur
looked
over
as
he
took
the
chili
from
the
food
processor
to
the
stove.

“What’s
going
on?”

  21. 21. Will
didn’t
look
back.

He
pushed
at
the
door
of
Brandon’s
office.

Locked.

“Doesn’t
anybody
have
a—“
he
started,
before
 remembering
that
Brandon
had
given
him
the
key.

He
reached
into
his
pocket,
pulled
it
out,
and
was
about
to
insert
it
in
the
lock
 when
the
door
opened.
 “Good
evening.”

The
man
looked
familiar.

Will
didn’t
know
him
yet,
but
he
had
a
sinking
feeling
that
this
was
Piper.

“You
must
be
 Will
Stark.

My
condolences.”

  22. 22. “What
the
hell?”

Sabriel
shouted
into
the
phone.

“No,
no,
no.

That’s
our
office!”

  23. 23. “Who
are
you?”

Will
asked.
 “Glad
you
asked.”

He
smiled
and
clasped
his
hands
together.

“My
name
is
Pius
Piper,
and
I
am
the
Law
of
Winterfell.”

  24. 24. “NO
HE’S
NOT!”

Sabriel
screamed
into
the
phone.

“How
did—no,
tell
me
later.

We’re
coming
to
Winterfell
right
now,
and
when
 we
get
there,
Piper’s
going
to
be
sorry!”

  25. 25. “We’re
going
to
Winterfell
now?”

Arthur
asked.

“Final
performances—”

  26. 26. “Because
someone’s
trying
to
take
over!”
 “What?”
 “Uncle
Brandon’s
dead,
and
we’re
in
trouble.

The
chili
doesn’t
ma]er.

Your
final
performances
don’t
ma]er.

We
have
to
go
back
 right
now,
this
minute,
so
no
one
takes
what’s
ours.”

Sabriel
looked
around,
but
there
wasn’t
anything
nearby
that
she
could
pick
 up
and
throw
it
across
the
room
like
she
wanted
to.

“DAMN
IT!”

  27. 27. “All
rise
for
The
Honorable
Lucia
Einaudi.”


  28. 28. A
trial
had
seemed
like
the
fairest
way
to
se]le
the
compe$ng
claims
to
Brandon’s
$tle.

They
would
decide
who
would
inherit
his
 legacy
by
using
his
procedures.

Sabriel
probably
would
have
objected
to
it
and
said
that
the
best
way
would
have
been
to
throw
 Piper
out
into
the
snow
from
the
second‐story
window
of
her
uncle’s
office.

But
Sabriel
hadn’t
been
there
to
decide
how
her
own
 des$ny
would
be
se]led.


  29. 29. 
Both
sides
approached
the
podium
where
the
judge
sat.
 “Let
me
make
sure
you
understand
how
this
is
going
to
work,”
Lucia
said.

“We
have
two
days.

Piper,
you’ll
present
your
challenge
 to
the
will
today;
Starks,
you’ll
present
your
defense
of
the
will
tomorrow.

Both
of
you
can
make
opening
statements
on
your
own
 behalf
on
your
day
of
the
trial.

Are
we
clear?”

  30. 30. “I
want
to
make
an
opening
statement
today,”
Sabriel
said.

“Not
tomorrow.”
 “Why?”

Lucia
asked.
 “So
that
you
don’t
forget
that
our
claim
is
the
right
one.”

  31. 31. Lucia
looked
at
Sabriel
for
what
felt
like
a
long
$me
before
saying,
“That
will
not
be
necessary.”
 “I
think
it
is,”
Arthur
said.

“If
you
hear
a
whole
day
of
Piper’s
evidence
unopposed,
it
will
be
all
the
more
difficult
to
understand
 our
case.“
 “It
will
not
be
unopposed,”
Lucia
interrupted.

“You
s$ll
have
the
ability
to
cross‐examine.”
 “But
not
to
make
a
statement
of
our
case?”

Sabriel
pressed.

 “Correct.

You
may
proceed,”
Lucia
said
to
Piper.

  32. 32. Lucia
looked
at
Sabriel
for
what
felt
like
a
long
$me
before
saying,
“That
will
not
be
necessary.”
 “I
think
it
is,”
Arthur
said.

“If
you
hear
a
whole
day
of
Piper’s
evidence
unopposed,
it
will
be
all
the
more
difficult
to
understand
 our
case.“
 “It
will
not
be
unopposed,”
Lucia
interrupted.

“You
s$ll
have
the
ability
to
cross‐examine.”
 “But
not
to
make
a
statement
of
our
case?”

Sabriel
pressed.

 “Correct.

You
may
proceed,”
Lucia
said
to
Piper.

  33. 33. 
“Your
Honor,”
Piper
began,

“Brandon
Stark
may
have
created
a
legal
regime
that
could
govern
us
aKer
two
genera$ons
of
 lawlessness,
but
he
ul$mately
stumbled
when
he
failed
to
provide
for
what
would
happen
to
that
legal
regime
aKer
his
death.

He
 set
forth
the
requirements
for
wills
in
detail,
including
that
each
will
be
witnessed—but
his
was
not.


  34. 34. “And
even
if
his
will
could
overcome
this
defect,
its
provision
for
succession
was
so
unreasonable
that
we
cannot
enforce
it.

How
 can
the
du$es
of
the
Law
be
split
between
two
people?”

Piper
stopped
in
front
of
Arthur
and
Sabriel’s
chairs,
then
turned
back
 toward
the
podium.

“They
cannot
speak
with
one
voice
on
the
most
important
issues
of
our
day,
as
I
would
be
able
to.

So
when
 they
inevitably
disagree,
it
will
be
a
recipe
for
chaos.
 “Now,
I
call
my
first
witness:
Natalie
Horn.”



  35. 35. “What
is
your
occupa$on?”
 “I
worked
as
an
assistant
to
Brandon
Stark.”
 Piper
took
a
couple
of
steps
toward
Lucia,
then
turned
back
to
Natalie.

“What
du$es
did
you
perform
in
that
job?”

  36. 36. “I
answered
the
phones
and
arranged
his
calendar,
as
much
as
it’s
possible
to
do
when
no
one
can
call
before
reques$ng
a
 mee$ng
six
out
of
seven
days
a
week,”
she
said.

“I
also
kept
records
of
his
orders
and
opinions
to
send
out
to
the
other
judges
so
 that
they
would
know
how
he
was
interpre$ng
his
Code.”
 “And
did
he
confide
in
you?”

  37. 37. “Should
we—“
Arthur
said
to
Sabriel.


 She
rose
as
Natalie
was
about
to
answer
her
ques$on:
“What
do
you
mean
by
‘confide’?”


  38. 38. “Was
your
rela$onship
strictly
professional,
or
did
you
ever
have
personal
conversa$ons?”

Piper
clarified.
 “Some$mes
he
would
talk
about
what
was
going
on
at
home—at
his
home,”
Natalie
said.

“He
talked
to
me
right
aKer
his
brother
 died
and
about
his
nephews
and
niece.”



  39. 39. “Did
Brandon
ever
talk
to
you
about
who
was
going
to
be
his
successor?”
 “He
was
preKy
open
about
it
when
Lily
was
going
to
succeed
him.

But
aNer
she
got
fired,
he
never
talked
about
it.”
 “And
did
he
ever
speak
to
you
about
his
plans
for
aKer
he
died?”
 “No.”

  40. 40. Piper
nodded.

“Now,
when
did
you
no$ce
Brandon
becoming
ill?”
 “I
first
started
to
no$ce
right
aKer
his
brother
died.”


 “How
did
it
affect
his
work?”
 “Some$mes
he
would
forget
what
he
was
saying
in
the
middle
of
a
sentence,”
Natalie
said.

“There
would
be
sentences
in
his
 opinions
that
didn’t
make
any
sense.

And
he
tried
to
limit
his
trips
between
the
courthouse
and
the
office
because
it
hurt.”

  41. 41. “Do
you
think
Brandon
was
of
sound
mind
in
the
last
days
before
he
died?”
 “Objec$on—“
Sabriel
started.
 “No.

I
do
not,”
Natalie
answered.

  42. 42. 
“All
right.

Let’s
talk
about
the
night
that
Brandon
Stark
died,”
Piper
said.

“What
did
you
do
when
he
leK
the
office?”
 “I
was
looking
for
a
draK
opinion
on
his
computer
when
I
found
a
copy
of
his
will,”
she
said.



  43. 43. “And
is
this
the
copy
of
the
will
that
you
found?”

Piper
held
up
a
piece
of
paper.
 “It
is.”
 “What
is
that?”

Sabriel
said
to
Arthur.

“We
have
the
will
here—“

 “And
was
the
will
witnessed?”
 “No.”

  44. 44. “They
pulled
that
un‐witnessed
copy
right
off
Brandon’s
computer!”

Sabriel
protested.

She
stood
up
belatedly.

“Objec$on!”

 “Overruled.”

  45. 45. “It’s
all
right,”
Piper
said.

“As
a
will
without
witnesses
is
per
se
invalid,
I
have
no
more
ques$ons,
Your
Honor.”

  46. 46. “Right.

I
got
this,”
Sabriel
got
up
to
cross‐examine,
holding
the
will
that
Brandon
had
given
to
Will
in
her
hand.

“Do
you
recognize
 this
document,
Natalie?”

 “Yes,
but—“
 “Can
you
tell
me
what
it
is?”
 “It—looks
like
it’s
the
will
of
Brandon
Stark—“

  47. 47. “And
it
says
here
that
it
becomes
effec$ve
one
month
aKer
the
copy
that
Piper
showed
you,
right?”
 “Yes.”
 “And
this
clause
says
that
the
will
supersedes
all
previous
wills,
correct?”
 “Yes,
but—“


  48. 48. “And
it
says
here
that
it
becomes
effec$ve
one
month
aKer
the
copy
that
Piper
showed
you,
right?”
 “Yes.”
 “And
this
clause
says
that
the
will
supersedes
all
previous
wills,
correct?”
 “Yes,
but—“


  49. 49. “And
is
that
your
signature
where
it
says
‘witness’?”


 “I—“
Natalie
started.
 “Yes
or
no,
please,”
Arthur
said
from
his
seat.

  50. 50. “Yes,”
Natalie
admi]ed.
 “So
you
admit
that
the
will
is‐‐”

  51. 51. “Yes,”
Natalie
admi]ed.
 “So
you
admit
that
the
will
is‐‐”

  52. 52. Jocelyn
Morgan
cut
her
off,
each
word
barely
making
it
past
her
lips,
yet
audible:
“What…is
she
doing
here?”


  53. 53. “Playing
my
part
in
the
administra$on
of
jus$ce,
as
is
proper
for
the
founder
of
Winterfell,”
Sansa
Stark
answered,
walking
into
 the
courthouse.

“Go
on,
great‐granddaughter.”


  54. 54. Sabriel
stared
and
turned
away
from
Natalie
to
face
Sansa:
“You’re—my
great‐grandmother—“


  55. 55. “I
said,
go
on.”

Sansa
sat
in
the
seat
that
Natalie
had
previously
occupied,
right
next
to
Piper.

  56. 56. 
“But
that
can’t
be—“
Jan
stared.

“She
works
in
my
lab—“
 Will
raised
his
voice:

“Are
you
just
siOng
there
because
that’s
the
only
unoccupied
seat,
or…”

He
couldn’t
bring
himself
to
say
it.
 “Order!”
Lucia
instructed.


  57. 57. “I’ll
answer
the
ques$on—can
I
answer
the
ques$on?

I’m
tes$fying
for
my
friend
Pius—“


  58. 58. “No!”
 “You
can’t!”
 “How
could—you
traitor!”
 Lucia
cleared
her
throat:
“ORDER
IN
THE
COURT!”

  59. 59. “Please
state
your
name.”
 “I’ve
been
going
by
the
name
Alayne
Stone,”
she
said.

“But
I
am
Sansa
Stark.”
 “And
what
is
your
occupa$on?”
 
“Right
now,
I’m
an
inventor,”
she
said.

“But
before
I
died,
I
was
an
ecological
guru.

I’m
the
reason
that
there
are
plants
hanging
 from
the
ceilings
of
almost
every
house
in
this
town,”
she
added.

  60. 60. “Excellent.

Now,
do
you
recognize
this
document,
Miss
Stark?”


 “I
do.”
 “Can
you
iden$fy
it
for
us?”

  61. 61. 
“This
is
a
declara$on
I
draKed
approximately
six
months
before
Brandon
Stark’s
death.

It
names
you,
Pius
Piper,
as
the
Law
of
 Winterfell
pursuant
to
my
powers
as
the—“


  62. 62. 
“OBJECTION.”

Sabriel
stood,
shaking.

“You
have
no
power
here!

Any
power
you
might
have
had
as
the
founder
of
this
family
is
 Will’s
now,
because
he’s
your
heir!”



  63. 63. 
“You
never
learned
to
respect
your
be]ers,
did
you,
girl?”

Sansa
snapped
at
her.


  64. 64. 
“You’re
not
my
be]er!

You’re
nothing.

You’re
dead.”

 “And
I’m
disappointed
that
I’m
related
to
you,”
Arthur
added,
standing
up
as
well.

  65. 65. Lucia
cleared
her
throat.

“If
you
do
not
sit
down
when
you
are
not
examining
the
witness,
I
will
hold
you
in
contempt
of
court.

 That
warning
goes
for
all
of
you,”
she
added.

“This
is
not
a
conven$onal
situa$on,
but
Sansa
Stark
has
returned,
and
she
s$ll
does
 have
some
power.

The
objec$on
is
overruled.”

  66. 66. “I
have
no
further
ques$ons,
Your
Honor.”

Piper
took
his
seat
again.

  67. 67. “You
cross‐examine
her,”
Sabriel
said
to
Arthur.

“I
can’t
even
look
at
her
right
now.”
 “Neither
can
I,”
Arthur
said.

  68. 68. He
got
up
and
approached
Sansa
anyway.

“Wonderful
to
see
you
back,
I
guess,”
he
started,
trying
to
be
cordial.
 “Thank
you.

You’re—“
 “Arthur.

Can
you
tell
me
about
the
circumstances
of
your
resurrec$on?”

  69. 69. “Objec$on.

Outside
the
scope
of
the
direct
examina$on.”
 “Sustained.”



  70. 70. Arthur
stood
s$ll,
trying
to
think
of
another
ques$on.

“Had
you
ever
spoken
to
Brandon
about
who
he
wanted
to
succeed
him?”
 “ObjecSon.”

  71. 71. “Sustained.

Please
limit
your
ques$ons
to
the
ma]ers
discussed
on
direct
examina$on.

I
believe
that
it
is
confined
to
the
 declara$on
submi]ed
into
evidence,”
Lucia
said.

  72. 72. Sabriel
stood
up.

She
had
had
enough.

“But
that
rule
isn’t
as
ironclad
as
you
think
it
is—“



  73. 73. 
“I
am
holding
you
in
contempt
of
court.

You
may
no
longer
examine
witnesses.

Mr.
Stark,
are
you
going
to
challenge
the
 declara$on
or
not?”


  74. 74. Arthur
looked
at
Sansa
and
scratched
the
back
of
his
neck.

Try
as
he
might,
he
couldn’t
think
of
any
way
to
challenge
Sansa’s
 declara$on
naming
Piper
as
the
Law.

“No
further
ques$ons.”


  75. 75. What
was
leK
of
Sabriel’s
game
face
disintegrated
as
they
got
back
to
the
house.

“This
is
a
disaster,”
she
said.
 “That’s
the
fiKeenth
$me
you’ve
said
that,”
Will
said.

  76. 76. 
“Well,
it’s
true,”
Sabriel
turned
on
him.

“A
trial?

Before
a
judge
who’s
clearly
been
bought?

You
didn’t
pick
that
bitch,
did
you?”
 “It’s
not
like
I
knew
anything
about
the
judges—“

  77. 77. “Were
you
thinking?

You
should
have
held
up
that
will
and
said,
our
way
or
get
out
of
here!

You
should
have
been
just
as
willing
 to
fight
for
us
as
that—that
bastard
was
to
fight
for
himself!

I
don’t
want
to
hear
it,
Will.”

She
put
her
fingers
in
her
ears
and
 stomped
upstairs.

  78. 78. 
“You
don’t
blame
me,
do
you?”

Will
asked
Arthur.
 As
Arthur
looked
at
him
without
saying
anything,
Will’s
heart
sunk.

“I
understand
why
you
did
it,”
he
finally
said.

“But
I
wish
you’d
 fought
harder
for
us.”

  79. 79. “I’m
sorry,”
Will
said.
 “I—“
Arthur
paused.

“We
should
go
up
and
prepare
for
your
tes$mony
tomorrow.”

  80. 80. They
found
Sabriel
by
the
chess
table,
her
face
blank.

“Ready
to
go?”

she
asked.


  81. 81. As
they
prepared,
Will
leaned
on
the
desk
and
stared
at
the
chessboard,
remembering
what
Jan
had
told
him
the
other
day
about
 playing
against
himself.

In
a
way,
they
had
all
been
playing
chess
against
themselves,
unaware
of
the
outside
world
except
as
an
 abstract
force
to
contend
with
as
they
tried
to
make
the
world
be]er
in
their
ways.

But
now,
everything
was
changing.


  82. 82. Instead
of
going
back
to
the
house
with
everyone
else,
Julian
went
back
to
Bri]any’s
house
to
celebrate
his
daughter’s
toddler
 birthday.
 Bri]any
had
named
her
Valen$ne.

It
seemed
like
an
odd
name
to
Julian,
but
he
hadn’t
been
around
to
object
to
it.



  83. 83. In
any
event,
Valen$ne
had
her
toddler
transi$on
that
night,
and
Bri]any
had
invited
all
of
the
neighborhood
simselves.


  84. 84. AKer
coming
downstairs
to
feed
Valen$ne
and
taking
her
up
to
her
crib
again
for
a
moment’s
rest,
Bri]any
came
over
to
talk
to
 Julian
about
their
daughter.
 “She’s
been
a
total
darling,”
Bri]any
said.

“Even
though
changing
diapers
in
the
middle
of
the
night
is
never
fun—”

  85. 85. Julian
interrupted:
“How
can
you
possibly
be
celebra$ng?”

  86. 86. Bri]any
tried
to
smile,
but
instead,
her
mouth
just
looked
pinched.

“Because
Valen$ne’s
just
a
baby,
and
she
doesn’t
know
 anything
about
the
horror
show
that
happened
back
there.

And
I’m
a
Popularity
Sim.

I
can’t
let
my
daughter
grow
up
without
 some
kind
of
celebra$on.”



  87. 87. Julian
had
to
admit
that
as
he
spun
the
noisemaker
while
wai$ng
for
Bri]any
to
blow
out
Valen$ne’s
candles,
he
had
managed
to
 put
Piper
out
of
his
mind
for
a
li]le
while.

  88. 88. As
for
Valen$ne,
she
knew
a
crowd
that
was
gathered
around
her
when
she
saw
one,
and
she
flashed
a
big
smile
as
she
came
 down
from
her
toddler
toss.
 Valen$ne’s
personality
is
6/7/6/6/1
(Aries).

  89. 89. “I
was
not
expec$ng
to
be
a
father
at
my
age,”
Julian
was
telling
the
simselves.

“She’s
adorable,
but
I
thought
I’d
finished
with
 toddlers
aKer—”

  90. 90. Julian’s
speech
was
cut
short
when
he
turned
his
head
and
saw
his
daughter
looking
up
at
him.
 “Hi
there,
Valen$ne,”
Julian
said,
turning
to
her.


  91. 91. She
hadn’t
learned
to
speak
yet,
but
it
was
pre]y
clear
to
Julian
that
Valen$ne
wanted
him
to
pick
her
up.

  92. 92. “There,”
he
said
aKer
a
snuggle.

“Happier?”
 Valen$ne
smiled
and
made
a
noise
that
might
have
been
a
giggle.
 “Good.”
Julian
smoothed
the
back
of
her
head.

“I’ll
be
living
here
with
you
as
soon
as
I
can.”

  93. 93. Because
they
hadn’t
been
allowed
to
give
an
opening
statement
on
the
first
day
of
trial,
Arthur
stood
to
speak
once
the
trial
 resumed
the
next
day.
 “May
it
please
the
Court.

As
you
know,
anyone
challenging
a
will
has
to
prove
by
clear
and
convincing
evidence
that
it
is
invalid.

 This
is
a
heavy
burden,
and
Mr.
Piper
has
not
met
it.

  94. 94. “We
have
the
will
of
Brandon
Stark
with
us.

He
did
everything
he
was
supposed
to
do
to
create
a
valid
will.

It
is
wri]en,
signed,
 and
witnessed.

And
it
clearly
states
that
my
sister
Sabriel
and
me
are
intended
to
be
the
new
Laws
of
Winterfell.

 “And
even
if
the
will
is
somehow
invalidated,
my
uncle
was
always
clear
that
he
intended
us
to
succeed
him.

So
was
Will,
our
 brother
and
the
heir.

He
will
tes$fy
about
his
intent
that
we
become
the
Law
of
Winterfell.”

  95. 95. 
When
Will
went
up
to
the
seat,
Arthur
asked
for
his
name
and
occupa$on,
like
Piper
had
done
with
his
witnesses.
 “Right
now,
I’m
a
trash
talker.”

Will
brushed
the
hair
out
of
his
eyes.

“And
I
am
the
heir
of
House
Stark.”

  96. 96. “How
did
you
become
the
heir?”
 “My
parents
offered
me
the
posi$on,
and
I
accepted
it.

A
couple
of
months
aKer
that,
my
dad
died,
and
the
leadership
of
the
 family
came
to
me.”

  97. 97. “Can
you
describe
your
first
formal
act
as
the
heir?”
 “My
uncle—Uncle
Brandon
had
called
us
at
Oldtown
to
ask
for
advice.

He
asked
for
my
opinion
about
who
should
succeed
him
as
 the
Law
aNer
Lily
was
fired.”
 “What
did
you
tell
him?”

  98. 98. 
“I
said
that
both
of
you
should
do
it.”

Will
paused.

“
‘You’
meaning
Arthur
and
Sabriel
Stark.”



 “Why
did
you
want
to
choose
us
together?”

  99. 99. 
“It
was
important
to
choose
two
people
because
both
you
and
Sabriel
have
other
du$es
to
Winterfell.

One
person
alone
might
 not
be
able
to
handle
both
being
the
Law
and
those
other
du$es.

And
you
see
things
together
that
you
don’t
always
see
 separately.

Arthur,
you’re
more
level‐headed
and
even‐handed.

Sabriel,
with
you,
no
one
will
ever
confuse
the
obliga$ons
of
the
 law
with
just
plain
guidelines.

It
has
to
be
this
way.”



  100. 100. “And
do
you
recognize
this
document?”
 “Yes.”

Will
examined
it.

“I
wrote
it
when
I
came
back
to
Winterfell.

It
names
Arthur
and
Sabriel
Stark
as
the
Law
of
Winterfell,
 jointly.

Based
on
my
powers
as
the
heir.”

  101. 101. “Objec$on,”
Piper
said.

“Because
Sansa
has
returned,
the
powers
of
her
‘heirs’
mean
nothing.”

  102. 102. 
“Overruled,”
Lucia
said.

“As
I
said
yesterday,
they
both
have
some
power,
so
I’ll
allow
it.”


  103. 103. Arthur
looked
at
Sabriel
and
saw
his
sister
grinning.

“She
actually
overruled
one
of
his
objec$ons!”

she
mouthed.




  104. 104. Arthur
turned
back
to
Will
with
new
confidence.

“Did
you
have
any
other
conversa$ons
with
Uncle
Brandon
about
our
 succession?”
 “Yes.

We
talked
about
it
right
before
he
died.

He
warned
me‐‐”
 “ObjecSon.”

  105. 105. “How
do
we
know
that
the
witness
is
telling
the
truth?”

Piper
asked,
approaching
the
podium.

“No
disrespect
to
the
heir—“
 “I’m
sure,”
Will
mouthed
while
Piper
was
talking.
 “But
Brandon
Stark
can’t
tes$fy
for
himself,
so
you
could
say
anything.”

  106. 106. 
“Because
your
witnesses
have
never
lied,”
Sabriel
said
to
herself.


  107. 107. “Brandon
is
dead.

It’s
impossible
to
call
him
to
the
stand
and
ask
him
to
tes$fy
for
himself
about
what
he
warned
Will
about,”
 Arthur
said.

“If
this
was
any
other
witness,
maybe
you’d
have
an
argument.

But
the
dead
can’t
tes$fy
for
themselves.”
 “Be
that
as
it
may,
the
objec$on
is
sustained,”
Lucia
ruled.
 Arthur
ran
through
the
examina$on
that
they
had
prac$ced
and
tried
to
think
of
what
else
might
be
relevant.

“No
further
 ques$ons.”

  108. 108. Piper
walked
up
to
cross‐examine
Will.

“Tell
me,
why
hasn’t
Brandon
Stark
signed
the
document
that
you
drew
up
for
your
 siblings?”
 “Because
his
will
demonstrated
his
intent.

Clearly
demonstrated
his
intent,”
Will
elaborated.

“My
declara$on
just
backs
it
up.”

  109. 109. “I
see.

And
you
are
aware
that
the
posi$on
of
Law
is
tradi$onally
only
for
one
person?”
 “Yes,
but—“
 “No
further
ques$ons,
Your
Honor.”

  110. 110. “Thank
you,”
Lucia
said.

“I
have
made
my
decision.”
 “Already?”

Sabriel
blurted
out.
 “Yes,
already.”

Lucia
cleared
her
throat.

“A
full
opinion
on
my
reasoning
will
be
forthcoming,”
she
said.

“Judgment
for
Piper.

 Costs—“

  111. 111. As
Sabriel
went
up
to
stand
with
Arthur,
she
gradually
became
aware
that
Piper
was
daring
to
talk
to
her.
 “That
was
not
something
I
wanted
to
do.

I
respected
your
uncle
greatly,
and
I
hate
to
interfere
with
what
his
wishes
seem
to
be.

 But
the
law
is
the
law.”

  112. 112. Sabriel
slapped
him,
puOng
as
much
force
into
it
as
she
could.
“Fuck
you!”
 “Language,
Sabriel,”
Sansa
said.
 She
con$nued.

“You
don’t
get
to
tell
me
you’re
sorry,”
she
said.

“You
do
not
get
to
speak
to
me!

If
you’re
that
sorry,
then
give
me
 back
what’s
mine!”

  113. 113. “Violence?

I
thought
you
were
be]er
than
that.”

Piper
didn’t
cackle
or
do
anything
plainly
devious.

He
looked
genuinely
 disappointed.


  114. 114. “I
thought
you
were
be]er
than
lying
and
chea$ng
your
way
here,”
Arthur
snapped
back.


  115. 115. “But
the
law
is
on
my
side.

And
now,
I
am
the
Law.

Speaking
of
which,
I
have
important
work
to
do.”



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